Yes, there is some good news. When government fails to perform the basic responsibility that underlies its legitimacy -- to care for the people in time of extreme need -- other structures try to fill the gap.
Since Cyclone Nargis hit Burma (Myanmar) on May 2nd, according to "Avaaz--the world in action," the same networks of Burmese monks who led protests last fall have been able to bring in aid that the military junta tried to stop or steal. .
Obviously there are limitations this sort of extra-governmental activity. If what is needed is supplies or materials that are unavailable in the country, they can't be smuggled in by informal networks. And the infusion of foreign cash undoubtedly will drive up the local prices of what can be bought in-country. Yet local social constraints may keep funds coming through respected monks from having as much of a distorting effect on local markets as would the same aid distributed through some foreign relief outfit. And aid that moves in this way ultimately builds a Burmese economy rather than functioning as a short term external stimulus.
It would be better if government worked for the people rather than ruling over them, but in the absence of a legitimate authority, Avaaz seems to have found a channel for international people-to-people assistance. I'm glad I sent them my small contribution.